Review by ryanmurakami
I enjoyed the first Uncharted. It was one of those games that kind of surprised me. Im not usually attracted to, what one might consider, mainstream games. Im usually more into weird, obscure titles. But, Id like to say that I can recognize a damn good game when I see it, regardless of its social position.
Uncharted was one of those games. The controls were tight. The cinematics and camera controls were new and interesting. The graphics were absolutely amazing. Playing it was just fun. There was something remarkably intuitive about the whole experience. The game makers were also game players, and they tried to make a game they wanted to play.
So, when Uncharted 2 came out and all kinds of awards were bestowed, I knew what to expect. I thought it would be good, I thought I would like it, etc. I borrowed the game from a friend when he finished it. I stopped halfway through and forgot about it but eventually finished it for the sake of completion.
Uncharted 2 is too long. And its not just that it is to long, its that it feels too long. The big boss guy says something like do you know how many people youve killed and it rings a little true. You kill and insane amount of people. Like, piles and piles. Digging the graves would take billions of years. Actionbutton.net (one of my favorite sites) reviewed the first game by referring to it as the reason why video games are referred to as murder simulators. I will at least say that I didnt get that feeling when I played the first one, although looking back it is totally true. But Uncharted 2 really does feel like a murder simulator. You feel awash in blood. You start hearing There he is! in a sorta Spanish accent when youre taking a piss at the toilet (or out back. whatever youre in to). Red lines make you nervous. Theres just way too many enemies.
Heres why Uncharted 2 feels like its too long, too much murder, too much climbing, too much back and forth with chloe and running around in circles. Because Ive already played the first one And most other people have too. The second Uncharted is an improvement on the first, but only as the second Mario (lost levels in America) was to the first. Its just more levels with more stuff. If played back to back, youre playing the same game. Once youre into, say, the 6th or 7th hour of duck, shoot, climb, move, shoot, climb, repeat, youre bound to get sick of it.
Uncharted 2 is desensitizing. Like watching Faces of Death in 4th grade at your friends house. Somehow, youre able to start laughing at the way the guys body just flopped around after his head was cut off. Eventually, the game goes from being a murder simulator to being a job. A game that started, back at the beginning of the first one, as refreshing becomes the bad taste in your mouth after coffee. Its the reason I just stopped playing the game. Why do I want to keep doing the same thing over and over? Instead, I did the dishes, because at least theres different crap crusted on the plates each time
But why did I finish it? Because Im a completion junkie. Sometime in my first few years of university, I realized that I started a lot of things but finished few. I made some sort of internal, blood pact with myself that I would finish more things. Somehow my brain shorted and included video games in that pact (the intention was for me to complete meaningful things). So, I finished Uncharted 2 to say I had completed it, and to return it to my friend. I finished it, and gave it back to my friend. Yes, to restate, let it be known that I have completed Uncharted 2 in its entirety. I even completed that stupid battle with the dude on sap-steroids.
The best way to express my dissatisfaction with this game is a metaphor + explanation. I love short songs. As I get older, I like my music to be shorter and faster. I view the perfect song length at under 1 minute. Any masterful song writer can express everything in that time that is worth expressing. I would be okay if its a little longer (1.2-1.5 minutes can be okay too). But the reasoning is the same, why put in filler? Theres a million bands, there are a billion songs, so why waste the listeners time with anything less than awesomeness? The same applies to game design. Dont have the player doing anything more than they should. You should have a concise (artistic) reason for doing things (artistic added because making money should never be critically applauded as a reason to make art). Uncharted 1+2 is similar to a little PSP title name, WTF. Specifically, the mini-game where you put the tops on pens. The point of the game is to make money by doing repetitive actions over and over. Why do you make money? To get virtual toys out of gacha-gacha machines. Yes this is the basic idea of Uncharted.
Okay, okay, one more thing. Heres something comparable to Uncharted. Youll need two TVs and a roll of bubble wrap. On one TV, put on an Indiana Jones movie. On the other, put on Rambo. Now pop the bubbles. When you finish popping the bubbles, go back over the ones youve popped to make sure theyre all popped (this is a little comparable to a second play through, or the second game). Now, youve pretty much played through both games. You can tell someone that youve completed them, I give you permission. If they ask you why they dont see any trophies for the game in your PSN account, tell them you were playing with your Japanese account.
Oh, maybe the movies should be in Blu-Ray.
So, lets start a rating system with this review. Well go out of 10, thatll work, start with a 5. Each point will be explained:
+1 being a game my wife doesnt mind watching me play
+1 having good art design coupled with insanely detailed graphics
-1 being too long
-1 having to do the same thing over and over
-1 being too hard for me on normal difficulty (I dont wanna play a game on easy, cause thats for sissies (aka. little kids))
-1 having girls with glassy eyes that make them look like those life-size robot female things that rich otaku are buying in japan.
That seems about right. 3/10. I liked the first game, I did, but its really like the difference between a good idea and good execution. Uncharted was a good idea with bad execution.
Rating: 1.5 - Bad
Product Release: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (US, 10/13/09)
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